My daughter Annabel is a born fashionista. I know this because I see it in the choices she makes every day when dressing herself (which she has done since she could walk).
The first time I realised she cared about how she presented herself was when she was just 18 months old. It was summer, and I had filled the paddling pool with water so that she and her sister Chloè could cool off. Chloè was already splashing about in her pink bikini, not a care in the world. But Annabel, well I saw her come out on to the back steps in her swimmers when she stopped suddenly, did an about-face and rushed off back inside the house only to return a moment later with a string of beads around her neck. Now she was ready to splash about!
The first time it became clear to me that I had no real say in what Annabel wanted to wear was when we had a battle of wills over a dress. It was the middle of winter and try as I might, all she ever wanted to wear was a dress. In the end I gave up because I didn’t want to fight with her, especially over clothes. It just seemed a pointless thing to do. I now figure as long as I can get her to rug up when it’s cold and remember to put her knickers on before she leaves the house, then I believe my job is done!
This morning Annabel surprised me with a combination that truly only a child can get a way with, but more than that, it inspired a spark of creativity in me too. She had grey houndstooth leggings on underneath a plaid pinafore which she had teamed with a striped long-sleeve tee. She wore this with pink espadrilles and her yellow Dorothy the Dinosaur handbag. I wish I had a photograph of her to share with you, but even though it sounds like a crazy mix, it worked for her! Her grandfather arrived later to collect her for a day at Nona and Poppa’s and he commented that her skill with dressing was not unlike her Grandfather – non-conformist, individual, a true expression of her individuality.
Annabel has a tendency to mix things up a bit… here she is trying out her Dora beach towel worn with Mummy’s favourite Zara tee ensemble.
And so I took off to work today in a dark khaki dress with purple stockings and a sunflower yellow scarf which I wore with my chocolate brown wool Nuala runners. This unusual combination made me feel happy, free and relaxed.
I wonder what combination Annabel will inspire in me tomorrow?
This weekend we celebrate Annabel’s 5th birthday with a posse of her friends from Kindy and other little girls at a local park. Bring on the cupcakes, fairy bread and balloon animals – I can’t wait!